Scorpion

Do you know this danger animal scorpion ? let’s know

Scorpions are a general term for animals of the order Scorpionida, class Arachnida. Currently, there are 6 families and 70 genera known. Scorpions are fully armed, covered in chitin armor, with simple and compound eyes and six pairs of flexible appendages on their unsegmented cephalothorax. Their abdomens are long and distinctly distributed, with seven segments in the front and wider abdomen and five segments in the back, which are narrower. There is a spherical body at the end that contains venom, and the protruding part forms the stinger. 

Scorpions are mostly found in temperate and tropical regions. They live in gravel on hillsides, under fallen leaves, in cracks in slopes, in tree bark, in cracks in walls, in earth holes, and in dark places in wasteland. They prefer to move around in damp places and in dry dens. Scorpions like to live in groups, prefer to be quiet and not active, are timid and easily startled, are afraid of strong light, hide during the day and come out at night, and often live together in fixed dens. Various insects and even small geckos. Scorpions are ovoviviparous animals. Females usually give birth to newborn scorpions between June and August. They give birth once a year, with about 30 pups each time. They can live for more than 10 years. 

Scorpions are very ancient land animals. As early as about 450 million years ago, there were more than 650 species of scorpions distributed all over the world. Research has shown that scorpion venom not only contains high levels of toxic proteins, but also has unique physiological activity. It is clinically used for the nervous system and cerebrovascular system, and has special therapeutic effects on malignant tumors, stubborn viruses, and AIDS. In agricultural production, scorpion venom is mainly used to make green pesticides.

History of Scorpion

Scorpions are very ancient land animals. As early as about 450 million years ago, there were more than 650 species of scorpions distributed all over the world.

Traditional Chinese medicine , a large number of whole scorpion products are consumed as food and health tonics. Scorpions have high medicinal and edible value.

Species evolution

After 70 million years of continuous evolution on Earth, most species have changed their original forms, evolving from cold-blooded animals to cold-resistant warm-blooded animals that can regulate their body temperature (birds, mammals , and humans). Of course, after each large-scale evolution, there are always some species that remain in their original form, such as fish that continue to survive after they evolved into amphibians , and there are also very few reptiles, such as scorpions.

Morphological characteristics

Scorpion
Scorpion

Scorpions are arthropods of the order Scorpio in the class Arachnida. Scorpions are fully armed, covered with chitin armor, with simple and compound eyes and six pairs of flexible appendages on their unsegmented cephalothorax. Their abdomens are long and distinctly distributed, with seven segments in the front abdomen and a wider, five segments in the back abdomen and a narrower, spherical body at the end containing venom, and a protruding part forming a stinger.

Adult scorpions look like eggplants, with a hard, crispy skin that is highly chitinous . Adult scorpions are about 50 to 60 mm long, with distinct body segments , consisting of the cephalothorax and abdomen. They are yellow-brown in color, with lighter ventral surfaces and appendages, and darker fifth segments of the posterior abdomen . Most scorpions are dioecious , with slightly different appearances. The cephalothorax is composed of six segments and is a trapezoid. The cephalothorax and the anterior abdomen are combined together to form the trunk.

There is a head armor on the back, which is densely covered with granular protrusions. A pair of central eyes in the center of the back, and 3 lateral eyes on each side of the front. There are 6 pairs of appendages. The first pair is a whole limb that helps with feeding, and the second pair is a long and thick crab -like horn whisker that is responsible for predation , touch and defense . The remaining four pairs are walking legs. The mouth is located at the bottom of the anterior cavity of the abdomen.

Scorpions have no ears, and almost all of their movements are based on the sensory hairs on their body surface . The scorpion’s tactile hairs are very sensitive and can sense the movements of cockroaches within a one-meter range. The scorpion’s sensory hairs can detect extremely weak vibrations, even the weak movement of air currents.

Habitat

Scorpions live in gravel on hillsides, under fallen leaves, in cracks in slopes, in tree bark, in cracks in walls, in earth holes, and in dark places in wasteland. They prefer to move around in damp places and in dry dens

Living habits

Scorpions are completely carnivorous, and like to eat invertebrates as well as spiders, crickets, small centipedes, various insects and even small geckos. They use the auditory hairs or tarsal hairs on their pedipalps and the slit sensory organs to find the location of prey. Desert scorpions can locate cockroaches that live in burrows 50 cm deep . When scorpions feed, they clamp the prey with their pedipalps, lift their posterior abdomen (scorpion tail), bend it toward the front of the body, and sting with their stingers. It is composed of six segments and is trapezoidal.

The back is covered with a head armor, which is densely covered with granular protrusions. The muscles outside the venom gland contract, and the venom flows out from the opening of the stinger. The toxins of most scorpions are enough to kill insects, but they are not fatal to humans and only cause severe burning pain. Scorpions use their chelicerae to slowly tear apart the food, first sucking the body fluids of the prey, then spitting out the digestive fluids, digesting the tissues outside the body, and then sucking them in. The speed of eating is very slow.

Scorpions are nocturnal animals. They like moisture but are afraid of dryness, darkness but fear strong light stimulation. Scorpions like to live in groups, prefer to be quiet and do not like to move. They are timid and easily startled. These are afraid of strong light. They hide during the day and come out at night. They usually live together in fixed nests. Generally, in a large scorpion nest, there are both males and females, big and small, living in harmony, and rarely killing each other. However, if scorpions are not from the same nest, they will often kill each other when they meet.

Habit of hibernation

Scorpions have the habit of hibernation. They usually come out of hibernation in mid-to-late April, after the Waking of Insects, and slowly go back to hibernation in early November. They are active for about 6 months a year. During the day, scorpions usually come out after sunset between 8 and 11 pm, and return to their nests at 2 to 3 am the next day. This activity pattern usually occurs on warm, windless, dry nights, and they rarely come out on windy days.

Although scorpions are cold-blooded animals , they are relatively cold-resistant and heat-resistant. Scorpions can survive in an external environment with a temperature between 40°C and -5°C. The growth, development and reproduction of scorpions are closely related to temperature. When the temperature drops below 10°C, scorpions are less active. When the temperature is below 20°C, scorpions are also less active. The most suitable temperature for their growth and development is between 25 and 39°C. When the temperature is between 35 and 39°C, scorpions are most active, their growth and development accelerate, and their birth and mating are mostly carried out within this temperature range.

When the temperature exceeds 41°C, the water in the scorpion’s body evaporates. If the temperature is not reduced in time and water is not replenished in time, the scorpion is very likely to become dehydrated and die. When the temperature exceeds 43°C, the scorpion will die quickly. The activity, growth, development and reproduction of scorpions are closely related to temperature, and the optimal temperature is between 35 and 38°C. Therefore, when breeding scorpions artificially, you must pay attention to it.

Reproduction growth

The growth and reproduction of scorpions are also closely related to the humidity of the external environment. In the wild, if there is a long drought, they will hide in a moist place about 1 meter underground; when it is rainy and there is water on the ground, they will climb to a higher place to avoid it. Therefore, when breeding scorpions, we must pay close attention to the moisture content of the feed and the humidity of the breeding ground and the nest.

Generally speaking, the place where scorpions move should be slightly humid, while the nests where they live should be slightly drier, which is conducive to the growth, development and reproduction of scorpions. If the nest is too humid, it is easy to be invaded by microorganisms, and it is also very difficult for the scorpion to shed its skin; if the place where the scorpion moves is too dry and the water content of the feed is insufficient, it will also affect the normal growth and development of the scorpion, and even induce cannibalism.

Scorpions prefer darkness and fear light, especially strong light stimulation. But they also need a certain light intensity to absorb the sun’s heat, improve digestion, speed up growth and development. And facilitate the embryo hatching process in the pregnant scorpion. According to reports and observations, scorpions have a positive tendency to weak light and a negative tendency to strong light,

Scorpions have a strong avoidance for strong odors, such as paint, gasoline, kerosene , asphalt, and various chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, quicklime, etc. Which shows that their sense of smell is very sensitive. The stimulation of these substances is very harmful to scorpions and can even be fatal. Scorpions are also very sensitive to various strong vibrations and sounds.

Reproduction method

Scorpions have courtship behavior. Male East Asian scorpions mostly look for females between June and July. After finding one, they use their pedipalps to pull the female scorpion to a secluded place. Then, the male scorpion clamps the female scorpion’s pedipalps with their pincers. The two scorpions face each other and drag back and forth. Courtship behavior can last for hours or even days. Then, the male scorpion discharges spermatophore from the reproductive opening and sticks it to the ground. The female scorpion is pull over so that the free end of the spermatophore contacts the female opening. There is a lever device at the free end. Which releases the spermatophore due to pressure from the female’s reproductive area. After the female scorpion accepts the sperm, it can continue to produce offspring for 3 to 5 years.

Scorpions are ovoviviparous animals. The eggs of ovoviviparous species are large, terminal yolk eggs, and undergo incomplete cleavage. They develop in the ovarian tube cavity. The eggs of viviparous species have almost no yolk and undergo complete and equal cleavage. The eggs of the southern chain scorpion develop in the blind tube of the ovary. The embryo is at the end of the blind tube, where another tube extends. The terminal end is a cluster of absorptive cells, which are close to the blind sac of the digestive system and absorb nutrients and transmit them to the embryo along the tube, a bit like the umbilical cord of mammals. The development process takes several months or even more than a year.

Young scorpions

The number of young scorpions varies from 6 to 90, depending on the species. After the young scorpions are born, they immediately climb onto the mother’s back, shed their skin once, and then leave the mother scorpion to live independently. Females generally give birth to newborns between June and August. Before giving birth, the mother scorpion looks for a suitable place, and the two pectinate organs spread out to the left and right, and the offspring are born one after another from the reproductive opening. The young scorpions are cover with white mucus, which is like rice grains. After a few minutes, the tail and appendages of the young scorpion stretch out from the mucus and climb onto the mother’s back along her appendages. The scorpion gives birth once a year, with about 30 offspring each time.

The first-born scorpion is about 1 cm long and milky white, with only the eye sockets black. The teeth, protrusions and claws on the body and appendages are not yet fully grow. It does not eat any food on the mother’s back. 5 days later, it sheds its skin to become a 2-year-old scorpion, with a body length of more than 1.5 cm. That still lives on the mother’s back. After about a week, it leaves the mother’s body and lives independently. After 5 moltings (6-year-old scorpions), it becomes an adult scorpion in the third year. But cannot reproduce until the autumn of the fourth year. It takes about 3 years from birth to reproduction. That can reproduce continuously for about 5 years, with a lifespan of more than 10 years.

Male and female Scorpions

Scorpions are divided into male and female. For juveniles, you can only look at the pectinates (two brushes in the shape of an eight on the abdomen. Rainforest species, you can look at the size of the pectinates and the length of the teeth. For most species, you can only count the number of teeth). About adults, you can look at the width of the carapace (wider ones are female). For the genus Thicktail Scorpion, you can look at the size of the pincers (large ones are male). Or look at whether there are large teeth at the base of the pectinates (two round pieces that are obviously wider than the teeth. Some are female). For the Tanzanian red-clawed emperor scorpion, you can look at the fullness of the pincers (male pincers are wide, flat and concave, while female pincers are smaller and fuller).

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